The Stuck Business Owner with Ann Carden￼
The entrepreneurial journey is tough and full of bumps on the road. But if you want to come out of these challenging moments even stronger, you have to embrace every opportunity to learn and grow. To put it in our guest’s words, every struggle is an opportunity to be bigger.
Meet Ann Carden. Ann is a Strategic Business Growth Consultant and the Founder of A. Carden Inc. With more than 30 years as an entrepreneur, Ann has built 7 successful businesses (and sold five), and she is the current owner of two. Even though her first business started out of financial hardship, it went global and was sold years later when she began her next small business.
Throughout her career, Ann has learned some golden lessons on entrepreneurship and is now helping other business owners further their success. So far, she has helped hundreds of great consultants, coaches, and entrepreneurs add 6-7 figures or more to their business/income while working less time.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about why failure shouldn’t be on your roadmap, how to sell your product, why you should learn, do, and teach, and the importance of always raising your own bar.
If you want to get more practical tips for growing your business, tune into this episode to hear what Ann has to say.
💡 Name: Ann Carden
💡 What she does: She’s a Strategic Business Growth Consultant and the Founder of A. Carden Inc.
💡 Noteworthy: Ann has helped hundreds of great consultants, coaches, and entrepreneurs add 6-7 figures or more to their business/income while working less time.
💡 Key Quote: “Out of every struggle and challenge, there’s opportunity to be bigger and to grow.”
💡 Where to find Ann: LinkedIn
Go big or go home. Every entrepreneur has to face a challenge at one point in their journey. Whether that’s a customer complaint or a competitor issue, it’s important to always keep going. Get in the right mindset first. Don’t accept failure as an option. As Ann suggests, go big or go home. She explains,
“We went big. We expanded, I’m like, ‘We’re going to go big here or I’m going to go home’ because I couldn’t just sit there and just watch them take away everything I had built up and we could have lost everything. Again, we were putting everything on the line to make that. So, failure was not an option. It really wasn’t. The plan B was let’s go big.”
Try the high-end strategy. Pricing your product adequately can make or break your entire business. So, it’s essential to do it right. Instead of offering the cheapest thing, try to use Ann’s high-end strategy. She suggests an alternative approach to selling your product. Sell it as a bundle of services that people won’t be able to resist. She explains,
“A lot of people focus on selling their cheapest thing. Like just sell the cheap thing. That’s volume, volume, volume. I actually take a completely different approach. […] Even when I work with small business owners, I use the high-end strategy. How can we bundle? How can we put things together and get you more money for your services, but make it a no-brainer, make it, so people are so happy to pay those big amounts of money for? And when you can do that and you can set yourself apart in your industry, you are not subject to the economy. You’re not subject to recessions.”
Learn, do, teach. As an entrepreneur, you go through different stages of your journey. First, you have a lot on your plate, so you have to learn as much as possible. Then, you’re focused on operations. You’re doing everything in your power to scale your business. But what comes after these two stages? According to Ann, it’s teaching. She talks about why coaching is the most natural next step for every seasoned entrepreneur. She says,
“I have this philosophy which is learn, do, teach. So when you’re starting a business, you’re learning. And you’re doing, but then at some point, you can use all of that, and you can start teaching other people what you have learned. And to me, it is the next step, especially for people when they’re looking to exit their business, you don’t want all of that knowledge and experience to just go to waste. People need that. It’s just such a valuable resource for people. So I absolutely think everyone should do it.”
Raise your own bar. Ever heard of that good-old saying, Nothing ever grows in the comfort zone? Well, that couldn’t be more true, especially when you’re a business owner. As Ann points out, you have to always be raising your own bar if you want to move forward. She explains,
“I have kind of a philosophy always be raising your own bar. And I see people get really kind of stuck in what they’re doing. Business owners kind of get stuck in their ways, and then they don’t want to come online, and they don’t want to do things online. And I think people get complacent. […] So you should always be learning. You should always be growing. You should always be investing back into yourself. And I don’t think that should ever change. We should always want to be a better version of ourselves today, both in our business, in our career than we were yesterday.”
“At the time, I didn’t really have the experience selling, and I was just looking for, okay, how can I leverage all this work that I’ve done and everything, and to get out of this business and exit, but not lose all of my work and everything. So that was really the assets that I had was really my design, so there was really not much else to sell.”
“I made the decision that I was going to sell the business myself. And actually, it was through my CPA that I let him know I wanted to sell that. I was really considering it, and I was just ready to move on and do something different.”
“Now I tell people, that’s your opportunity. That’s your time to really go big because other people won’t hold back.”
“I have a really strong faith. And so that has always been the foundation of all my decisions and everything I do. And I knew it was scary. I’m not going to say that, but I just had real peace about it. I really knew that’s that was our step. That was what we were supposed to do.”
“If you think about it, people that are affluent or wealthy, or even in businesses that are more successful, they are not affected in the same way by what’s going outward. The economy and the in recessions and things like that. And I know we hit a little bit on a recession. So I think that is just one strategy. Don’t focus on your lowest thing, focus on your highest thing, or make something that’s high end, that’s higher ticket. And then when you sell that, or if people don’t want that, then you can downsell everything else. It’s a lot harder to down sell people to get them to become a customer or a client than it is to move them up.”